What’s the Legal Definition of Pain And Suffering?
Pain and suffering in Colorado are known as a non-economic damage. Non-economic damages are injuries for which there is no ascertainable dollar amount. In contrast, lost wages and medical bills are readily quantifiable. Pain and suffering damages are unique in that the injured person receives compensation essentially for their emotions, as they should. Every person is entitled to live their life as stress and worry free as the lot of humanity allows. The person who disturbs another’s peace by acting negligently should be made to compensate the victim for the emotional distress. Colorado law caps the damages for pain and suffering.
Pain And Suffering Defined
In Colorado, pain and suffering are defined as non-economic damages. Pain and suffering are the emotional distress a person endures as a result of being injured by someone else’s negligence. Included within the general rubric of pain and suffering is compensation for inconvenience, the impairment to the quality of life, and emotional trauma. Damages such as compensation for physical impairment and permanent disability are also non-economic damages but fall outside the scope of pain and suffering. To receive damages for pain and suffering, you must be actually injured by another’s negligence or be within the “zone of danger.”
How Are Pain And Suffering Calculated?
The amount of compensation a person receives for their pain and suffering depends on the circumstances of each case. A simple way to calculate pain and suffering is to double the special damages. Special damages are medical bills, lost wages, loss of economic opportunity, or any other loss to which a specific dollar amount may be assigned. Another way to determine compensation for pain and suffering is to calculate the damages on a per diem basis.
How Do I Prove Pain And Suffering?
Merely claiming you were upset and sad because you suffered injuries is insufficient. To receive just compensation for your pain and suffering, you must demonstrate how the other person’s negligence deeply affected your life. Evidence of pain can be found in your medical records. Your physicians and health care professionals will record your level of pain during your visits and will note pain alleviating measures such as medication and physical therapy. Another way to show that you have suffered is to keep a diary. Write down how you feel every day. Write if you are in pain and discuss candidly how the pain changes your life day to day. Here are a couple of additional ideas to include in your journal:
- Discuss how your pain has changed your relationships. Include thoughts on how you cannot play with your young children or hold them as long as you once did or how you are shorter and less patient with your spouse simply because you are in pain;
- Write about your sense of loss after the accident. Perhaps you liked to golf or bowl, and now you cannot because of your pain, or you loved to attend concerts but are now unable because the pain you feel prohibits you from doing so.
- Record your fears and anxiety about recovering from the injury. Discuss your frustration of attending numerous doctor’s appointments and how slow and arduous healing is for you. You might be afraid to get behind the wheel of a car again if you were hurt in a car accident. Be specific and descriptive.
Colorado Caps Pain And Suffering Awards
The law at present caps the maximum recovery for non-economic loss at $468,010 unless you can prove by clear and convincing evidence that the amount should be higher in the interest of justice. However, non-economic damages may not exceed $936,030. The statute calls on the Colorado Secretary of State to issue new limits after accounting for inflation on a periodic basis. There is no statutory cap on damages paid to compensate for physical impairment and disfigurement.
We Can Help You Recover For Your Pain And Suffering In Colorado
The personal injury lawyers at Zinda Law Group in Colorado are experienced and know how to achieve the best results for our clients. Our attorneys will provide you expert legal advice while working work diligently to reach a fair and just resolution of your claim. We have a passion for winning compensation for our clients. Contact us at 303-800-1501 today to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can help you with your Colorado personal injury claim.